AMS (Advanced Music Systems) was founded in 1976 by Mark Crabtree and Stuart Nevison, both of whom were aerospace engineers. The first product designed by the company was the AMS DM-20 Tape Phase Simulator. This initial AMS product was used by ELO, 10cc and Paul McCartney, who used it on the Wings’ London Town album in 1978. The real breakthrough for AMS however was to come, and in 1978 they released the AMS DMX 15-80 digital delay line. Later the DMX 15-80s included “loop triggering” launching the use of digital sampling. The DMX later included pitch changing and up to 32 seconds of delay. These units can still be found in studios the world over. Perhaps the most revered product from AMS however, is the AMS RMX 16 digital reverb. The AMS RMX 16 was released in 1981, and included a reverb patch called Non Lin, referring to non-linear or ‘gated’ reverb.
This patch was developed with the help of Hugh Padgham, the creator of the gated reverb effect, discovered when working with Peter Gabriel, and made famous by Phil Collins with his Face Value album. The Non Lin preset was used for most of the 1980s from the time the AMS RMX 16 was released. Another patch on the AMS RMX 16 was Ambience, and again, it was heavily used, and is still in use today. AMS was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1985. Siemens bought AMS in 1990 and merged the company with Neve Electronics in 1992. Crabtree acquired the combined firm in 1995, becoming the sole owner of AMS Neve. AMS Neve continues to manufacture professional recording equipment, including a reproduction of the AMS RMX 16 in 500 rack format, released in 2020.